Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Perez: This could be the best car I’ve ever started a season with

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez says his Racing Point RP20 might be the best car he’s ever had at the start of a season.

What they say

Perez was asked whether the car is the best he’s driven in F1:

I think, yes, I this can be the most solid package I’ve had in my career to start the season. I hope in Melbourne that proves to be right. But at the moment, the car is working well. I think there is good things, good signs. But we’ve got so much work to do before Melbourne. So hopefully we can do it.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

[smr2020test]Is it surprising that DAS didn’t appear in F1 sooner?

I’m only surprised at how long it has taken for a team to come up with a solution to the problem of optimising tyre temperature under the varying conditions of each race, as is surely the real purpose of das DAS.

F1 (Bernie Ecclestone) imposed a gimmick (melty tyres) on the teams to randomise the results (e.g. Williams last win), and it should come as no surprise that teams have spent a lot of their resources in efforts to optimise the performance and longevity of these substandard tyres.

If F1 is to ban the solution to the problem of optimising the performance of these substandard tyres I hope they apply logic and also ban the gimmick of temperature critical substandard tyres.

These tyres are the main contributor to the lack of close racing, they slow down the pace, reward drivers that avoid interacting with other cars, punish drivers that try to pass cars of similar performance, make track position king, and hugely increase the problem of turbulence, all factors that make F1 less exciting than it was.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Perez: This could be the best car I’ve ever started a season with”

  1. Ive got to say, im all for Manufacturer ‘B/satellite teams’, if it means more teams in the mix, then who cares. Hope Racing Point can fight for podiums.

    1. The problem is Haas and Toro Rosso are satellite teams of the teams who are fighting for podiums and the occasional win, those satellite teams aren’t fighting for podiums.

      A Mercedes satellite team fighting for podiums is effectively a clean sweep.

      1. Toro Rosso are satellite teams of the teams who are fighting for podiums and the occasional win, those satellite teams aren’t fighting for podiums.

        *Alpha Tauri and they got 2 podiums last year but I do see your point. I think we may have a few more of those outlier results this year hopefully. Certainly expecting it this year with 2019 copied designs up and down the field rather than ’21 when those teams will be back to square one. 2022 should be competitive!

    2. Many people care, I can assure you. This is meant to be a competition of constructors, not a monopoly of three teams. Formula 1 is risking towards this model still more and more and it can seriously damage it in the long run.

      1. Well said.

        The biggest issue with the turbo hybrid era is Mercedes’ domination. A “pink Mercedes” getting into the mix doesn’t really solve that problem!

  2. Good news about Sophia Flörsch, that’s one gutsy driver.
    I’ll be paying more attention to F3 this season, it would be pretty darn cool if she won races…

  3. At this rate the majority of sporting events are going to be cancelled for the next six months.

    1. Likely speaking for many …. hope you are wrong, but expecting that you are not.

    2. Yes, and isn’t this another Advanced Pharmaceuticals-year ?
      …Sorry, “Summer Olympics”

  4. Re COTD, thanks @keithcollantine, it’s equally rewarding to know that late-night posts actually get read.

    1. Great CotD by dem @Hohum.
      It seems like you had this one on the shelf waiting for the right moment, and all comments so far we’re just teasers.
      You actually moved my opinion on den tyres.

      1. @coldfly, Danke, das ist gut.

        1. @hohum Interesting comment indeed, and I’m sure you’re right to suggest DAS can affect tire temps, obviously particularly in the front, but I think it remains to be seen to what degree this system is there for tire temp control and how effective it will be. I envision it is also there to allow them to run less downforce (read drag), where DAS may help them in low speed corners while running said less downforce than the others, which can also help in straight line speed which was a concern of theirs last year regarding Ferrari particularly. As of course will straightening out the toe on the straights help top end speed a bit I would think. And yes affect tire temp inevitably. But only in the front, no? Guess we’ll learn more about it’s advantages the more Mercedes plays with DAS and optimizes it.

          But of course I agree with you and will be amazed if they don’t have much sturdier tires for 2021. Won’t the current tire behaviour fly completely in the face of what they are trying to accomplish, which is much more close racing? So in that sense I don’t see that there would be a need to keep DAS even if it’s main purpose is tire temp control.

          Especially considering the actual real main culprit and reason BE went with these tires for these cars was to, along with drs, mask processions due to clean air dependence. It is by shedding themselves of that, that closer racing will ensue, no matter the tires, and even if they did keep the same tire behaviour, which to me is near impossible to imagine, I think the new cars, if they had to, would treat the tires complete differently. They certainly wouldn’t be subject to nearly as much tire harming movement in the front while the car is being buffeted around in dirty air.

          Obviously the 18” tires will having to be drastically different in their composition not only as they won’t be called upon to provide a lot of the suspension duties, but the cars will have who knows what total downforce from the curtailed wings and the enhanced ground effects. And of course there’s the closer racing that they are trying to invite for the new chapter, not discourage, and that to me will mainly come from the drastically different philosophy wrt downforce and how it is achieved.

          To me I cannot see it any other way as new better cars = new better tires. I can’t see Pirelli being allowed to ‘hold the close racing hostage’ if you will, by making tires as finicky then as they are now, and have them rather than theoretically enhance the show (their current mandate), take away from it next year. Can’t see it being allowed to happen. Can see how the cars won’t just inherently demand something far better anyway.

          1. @robbie, Thanks, glad to see your glass is still half-full.

  5. I hope other team start copying Mercedes aswell.

    Would be nice if every midfield team had a best car ever in their history.

    1. Fortunately, other teams (apart from the obvious buyers) have some dignity.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      27th February 2020, 9:10

      True but if they all bought the same car off the shelf, F1 just becomes another Indycar.

      1. Have you watched Indycar recently. Some of those road races are pretty exciting.

  6. I couldn’t open the link to the story about Red Bull getting the tv rights to the austrian GP, but alarm bells are sounding in my head regardless. surely this is a massive conflict of interest? i’m confused as to what’s actually at stake here. are they going to pay for the rights to show the race on an FTA channel? seems like one for EU competition law…

    1. @frood19 – How is there a conflict of interest, though?

      They’re one participant (OK, two!) in a sport broadcast by another legal entity. They don’t control the edit of the TV broadcast, so there can be no accusations of favouring only their cars.

      One could argue that they get undue leverage over Liberty by threatening to affect viewership, but with the presence of F1 TV Pro, that would be a hollow threat. Quite the opposite, in fact, since it will now force broadcasters to up their game if they want eyeballs on their TV programming.

      Yes, their involvement in F1 will now be in two areas of F1 (participant and geo-specific broadcaster), but such involvement in itself doesn’t pose a conflict of interest, in my eyes.

      A conflict of interest would be if Liberty (or even key individuals within Liberty) enters a team in F1, or even backs/sponsors a team.

      Then again, the EU seems to be as aggressive in these matters as the US is lax, so your final statement might very well come true :)

    2. The only likely risk is of biased reportage. I don’t think there’s anything particularly uncommon about accidental bias elsewhere, and if they were deliberately biased, Liberty would object.

  7. @phylyp I guess ‘massive’ conflict of interest is probably hyperbole. I was thinking along the lines of the coverage favouring their cars – I know the director’s feed will be the same as other races (except monaco, or have they now fallen into line?), but the rest of the coverage could be quite excluding to the other teams, which would both make it a poorer spectacle for austrian viewers and also just plainly unfair.

    I may well be overreacting, but I think this kind of muddying of the waters is almost always detrimental to the notion of ‘sport’. having said that, we’ve been in such situations since a certain Brabham team principal negotiated the TV rights in the late 1970s. plus ca change, perhaps.

    1. You’re overreacting. World feed is the world feed. Chill.

      1. Of course it’s a potential conflict!

        It Manchester United had the TV rights to the English Premier League then, quite rightly, everyone would be up in arms.

        Red Bull might not control the worldwide stream but the would be able to at least influence the commentary, interviews plus the pre and post race analysis.

        Your username suggests that you are perhaps not the most impartial on the subject (ironically)!

        1. More free to air F1 is no bad thing, if it’s flanked by pre and post Red Bull focused coverage I think most viewers stiffed with Sky in the UK would swallow that pill. Like I said, world feed remains the same.

          And don’t jump to conclusions, I am a Mercedes man. I just loved the look of the RB13 specifically.

    2. @frood19 – fair enough :)

      You’re right that – as Sonny Crockett pointed out – RB can influence the non-race parts of the show, making the pre/post race events very RBR-focused. Then again, given it is an RB-owned channel, I don’t think any viewer would be surprised by their focus.

      And my point regarding F1 TV Pro still stands – Liberty will ensure that it is an option available in any country where they negotiate a new TV broadcast deal. And that will have the effect of keeping the TV guys on their toes.

  8. I’m very conflicted on the B-team concept. On one hand I do like the idea – Haas/AlphaTauri effectively being decent midfield runners using old Ferrari/Red Bull tech is good for the field.

    But on the other hand, the whole Racing Point thing bothers me. If its pace is as good as it looks, it being basically the Tesco Value Mercedes and potentially winning races/podiums – in addition to the main squad waltzing to the championship is a bad look. I don’t think I’d enjoy watching the top four in qualifying/race end up being basically the same car, any more than I’d like to see similar domination from Ferrari/Haas/AlfaRomeo or Red Bull/AlphaTauri. Once or twice is cool, but a habit is less so.

    I guess variety is the spice of life. Unfortunately though it if it is super successful then why don’t Sauber/Williams just do the same? Why doesn’t everyone just buy discount Mercedes tech? What’s the point in building your own car to struggle to 5th, while you watch people in last year’s machinery laugh as thay lap you? I realise this is speculation as it’s only testing, but I think it’s a realistic concern long term.

    1. If its pace is as good as it looks, it being basically the Tesco Value Mercedes and potentially winning races/podiums

      Firstly, last years W10 AS IS would almost definitely be a midfield contender this year, F1 moves fast and times are estimated to be up 1.5 seconds amongst the top teams even now.

      Secondly the RPW10 is a visual copy. They buy the back end, they have only imitated around that. Having almost fallen foul of fake goods in my lifetime there is a world of difference between a genuine article and something which looks 99% the same but isnt, and i’m talking clothing and goods let alone a working F1 car with a trillion minute details to get right.

      It might pull a ‘Haas’ and bag the occasional 4th when the leaders trip but this car will not be some serial podium contender, of that I am absolutely certain.

      1. RB13 Agreed completely.

  9. I agree with the COTD except for the part about claiming that tyres would be the main contributor to the lack of close racing even though it’s the aero.

    1. @jerejj, Sure, the aero is a problem but it is a problem a good driver can anticipate and drive through to make a pass, his tyres however will suffer high wear and overheating in the process. Not much point in making a pass if it means an extra pit stop or your tyres “going off the cliff”.

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